The Dog Watch10/26/2008
Jake and Anne have been so good on this trip. They really deserve some recognition. I've put them through conditions that a lot of humans couldn't handle and they've adapted often better than I. The dogs (especially Jake) usually sleep on passages. They only get up to move when the boat changes directions relative to the sun and shade.
Bakery In Grand Cay10/26/2008
They make really good, sweet fresh bread daily on many of the inhabited islands. If you look closely you can see the coconut husks on the left side. The coconut in the coconut bread is as fresh as can be.
Rough Weather In ParadiseClear but windy from the north
10/26/2008, West End, Grand Bahama
Until this trip pretty much all of my cruising was in light weather (except for that wild sailing trip with Matt from San Carlos, Mexico and a few other choice sailing experiences). This trip I've had rainy, windy, and/or wavy weather most of the time. It hasn't been easy, but I've definitely gained a lot of experience that will help me considerably in future cruising. We arrived at the Old Bahama Bay marina this afternoon after a hard two-day slog from Grand Cay, where we spent two or three days holed up from more bad weather. Its been cold front after cold front for weeks. Eventually I just had to head out in the rough weather or go stir crazy. The boat can take a lot more than we can. Turns out between 15 and 20 knots is great sailing weather. More than that and things can get nasty. I've had more than my share of high 20s and 30s in the last few weeks. The worst winds sometimes hit in the early mornings. On one occasion my foresail came a bit loose at anchor and was flogging back and forth so hard I thought the boat would shake apart before I got it secured at like 3 in the morning in howling winds. Try getting back to sleep after that. But we made it to West End and I'm docked at a marina for the first time ever. Another night rocking and rolling at anchor was too much. It's so still here. Feels great. No need to dingy ashore in rough conditions. We just step up to the dock. I had dinner at the restaurant. Fried Snapper, fresh veggies, and peas and rice. Internet. Bathrooms and showers a short walk away. Laundry machines and dryers close at hand. Heaven. I'm stuck in this place for perhaps another 3 or 4 days before we get a window to cross back to Florida.
Another Incredible Morning Light In Northern, Bahamas10/18/2008, Little Harbor
Jake In My Bed10/18/2008
If you're wondering about Jake and Anne, they are fine. Unfortunately, Anne caught a case of worms while in remote Little Harbor, so Fred and I put the dogs in the truck (we couldn't leave Jake by himself on the boat, that would be cruel), shlepped them to Marsh Harbor (20 miles by road), brought Anne in to the vet and weighed her, walked out with four $8 pills, and the next day she was worm free. No paperwork required. Fred was very kind to us while we were in Little Harbor and his friendship will not be soon forgotten. Little Harbor was a place where the dogs could run free and play in the clear water to their heart's content (except when the a-hole doctor was around). It was a special little piece of paradise in a greater paradise called Abaco, Bahamas.
A Moorings StarshipKeith, rainy and windy
10/18/2008, Little Harbor
I call them starships because they are huge (47 feet long and very wide) and have four cabins, four bathrooms, air conditioning throughout with onboard generator, big screen TVs, and much more. They also cost almost $10,000 a week to rent. They ran their generators pretty much all the time but diesel is included in the charter fee so what do they care. My boat, on the other hand, went for almost 10 days on wind and some solar power without ever having to run an engine and cost nothing for that particular week.
Keith Sailing10/18/2008, Somewhere in the sea of Abaco
In spite of the weather I have been able to sail a lot more lately. The Catalina 36 wants to sail and sails a lot better than it motors. Having the sails up also makes for a smoother ride in heavy conditions. Aside from my first day sailing north from Little Harbor in heavy winds and seas, the last few days have been light and sunny, allowing me to put all the sails up. I've even got the Hydrovane up and running.
Sunset Through The Mozzie Screen In The CompanionwayKeith, nice but very buggy
10/18/2008, Off Grabbers In Great Guana Cay
I spent last night at an anchorage off Great Guana that I wanted to try from the last time I was there, however, the mozzies were out with a vengence. South of Guana I experienced hardly any mozzies, but they are back now that we're farther north again. More likely it is the lack of strong breeze that is allowing them to go back on the attack. After almost four months of cruising through the entire summer and early Fall, I've got the bug prevention routine down pretty well, so I don't get bit very often. Nevertheless, it was a spectacular sunset, don't you think? In the cruising life we often go to sleep pretty early and wake up early, but we always catch the sunrises and the sunsets as they are often the most beautiful time of the day.
Tropical Reality In Marsh HarborNice
It's been many days since I had an internet connection so I don't know how many will read this, but Jake, Anne and I are doing well and back at Green Turtle Cay. We had a great time in Little Harbor, snorkling, scuba diving down the blue hole, hiking around the island, visiting neighboring towns, watching movies, reading books, making food with Fred, hanging out with the moorings charter starships, and much more. But the weather just kept deteriorating and I got sick of waiting for a window south and decided it was time to head back north. Naturally at that point the weather calmed considerably and then starting blowing from the north for the last several days. Would have been perfect conditions to continue heading south but alas, I tire of cruising alone with my two dogs and dare I say am beginning to miss my family, friends, the legal profession, and the other nice things in my life outside cruising. I think the lower Bahamas would be an even better (and safer) experience when I can cruise with someone and share the adventure. Enough for now. The above photo was taken from the big yellow boat I breakfasted on while in Marsh Harbor two nights ago. I was going to head past Green Turtle and stay someplace altogether new tonight, but there is supposed to be a front coming through tonight and tomorrow and I'd prefer to be someplace where I can find protection and other people if I have to wait out the weather. I'll post more while I'm here tonight and at least tomorrow morning, but I may not have internet again for a while after that.
Fred, My Little Harbor Adventure Guide10/11/2008
Fred is the one without a shirt. He is the caretaker of Pete's Pub and Gallery and rental houses while the place is shut down for the low season. With time on our hands, Fred has been taking me on all sorts of adventures, which I will describe above. The guy next to him is Rob. Rob came to the Bahamas with some gear for the purpose of sailing that little canoe sailboat back to the States. Kind of puts things into perspective.
Singer Family Adventures
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